Old Media vs. New Media: Battle to the death?

July 1st, 2009

The media landscape continues to change, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fight-to-the-death between Old Media and New Media.

TechCrunch’s Robin Wauters took Old Media to task for not being quick enough to report the Michael Jackson’s death, saying new media entities TMZ and Twitter get it, and Old Media essentially is too slow to be relevant anymore. In the comments, there is a mini-war going on, with some people siding with the Chicago Tribune, which says Old Media did the “heavy lifting” in confirming Jackson’s death, and others saying that Twitter and TMZ is all we need anymore.

Instead of asking who will win, why not ask this: Why can’t Old Media and New Media get along?

Old Media should stop pretending like new ways of information aren’t important. Whether Old Media likes it or not, people are getting their news in new ways. The Old Media does need to move quicker. Ask any editor at any newspaper, and he or she will tell you the newsroom needs to always be moving quicker to get news out. Old Media needs New Media for various reasons, not the least of which being that people increasingly are turning to New Media outlets exclusively to get their news.

Meanwhile, New Media needs Old Media, too. Twitter can run rampant with rumors (including a widespread, though false, rumor that actor Jeff Goldblum had died). Old Media is good at doing some “heavy lifting” when it comes to verifying information. Some New Media outlets are good at that, too, but this is the Old Media’s forté.

There’s no reason for this to be a battle. If Old Media is in the New Media world and doing it right, the two can live together harmoniously.

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Entry Filed under: media rant,Newspaper

  • http://www.lindsaymallen.com/ Lindsay M. Allen

    Agreed! The responsibility of TMZ's declaration that “Michael Jackson is dead” came a full hour (I think that's what I read) BEFORE he actually was declared dead by medical professionals is, at best, questionable. If new media wasn't in such a hurry to be first and if old media wasn't so stuck on having EVERY SINGLE DETAIL before at least publishing/airing *something*, there'd be much more balance in the universe. Can't we all just get along?

  • http://www.transplant-1.com/ Michael Calienes

    nice post. i look forward to the day old media stops bitching and moaning and just begins to work WITH new media to figure it out. the overlapping skillsets they bring to the table are invaluable. perhaps together, thy can create a pay for great reliable content model.

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  • http://www.elasticbrands.com/blog Tim Dempsey

    Great topic — and while I can't be sanguine about the prospects for the old media, the new media has a lot to learn. The question is, where is the leadership in providing structure, order, quality in the new media? Certainly it ain't the new media gurus… they're too busy tweeting and meeting amongst themselves.

  • http://oldmedianewtricks.com dan360man

    Are you thinking of anyone in particular, Tim? ;-)

  • http://oldmedianewtricks.com dan360man

    I wonder if it would just be easier to buy up the better blogs…? They can't be valued at much, anyway.

  • http://oldmedianewtricks.com/ Robert Quigley

    Now now .. remember, it's not a battle to the death ;-)

  • edwardboches

    This is an argument for argument sake. Old media has the creds, fact checking and objectivity to avoid rumors and hearsay. New media has the alacrity, but often not the accuracy. Some newspapers are using them both together. The Boston Globe has embedded Twitter in many of its online pages, for example. It's an easy way for old media to let new media go hand in hand, side by side. I for one love the instantaneous content of new media, but want the reliability of old.

  • http://oldmedianewtricks.com dan360man

    IMHO, old media may have all the credibility in the world, but needs to earn street cred in the new media landscape if it is to remain relevant.

    Just my two cents.

  • edwardboches

    True they need to stay relevant. (They're all going out of business soon in the new era of free content.) It's the newspaper and magazines that have the toughest time. The model of print is broken and consumers prefer to be their own editors (google reader, et.al.), which is all good. But as a consumer, I still want the quality of the NY Times and the New Yorker. Your blog and many others are great, along with YouTube and other content platforms. But the quality of content will never be the same. Unless you can get Malcolm Gladwell to write for you.

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  • Joseph Pelletier

    And keep in mind that New Media and Old Media aren't fighting, in fact, most news sources make great use of their websites (notably CNN) to break into developing stories. The vast majority of news sources have done a superb job of breaking into a New Media style–the real problem, as we all know, is financial. News sources definitely have not received the credit they deserve in terms of journalism in 2009, and with less and less money coming in.

    I'm not worried so much about verified and gossiped news, because that has always been around. And as the saying goes, the cream always rises to the top. The great news outlets make their name from quality journalism. The TMZ's of journalism do not.

    Whether we can keep those quality news sources afloat, however, is the real problem.

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